Nothing Could Have Prepared Me For How I Feel in the First Trimester

Nothing could have prepared me for the first trimester of my first pregnancy. My husband and I were ready to have a baby, but didn’t know whether I was pregnant or just had the flu until my 5th week. I took a pregnancy test to confirm my suspicion and then immediately searched for information about what to expect in my first trimester.

After searching for a description that accurately reflects most of what I am experiencing I found a blog post written by Celeste Erlach on the blog site Pregnant Chicken. Her article, Symptoms of Pregnancy No One Wants to Talk About – 1st Trimester Edition resonates with me and entertainingly describes her experience of morning sickness, fatigue, constipation, bloating, and self-doubt. Check it out!

Friends and family had told me that all pregnancies are different and women will experience the symptoms differently. I learned very quickly that I would be one of those pregnant women experiencing all of the symptoms. It actually feels like the embryo is sucking the life out of you and as I near the end of the first trimester I am less hopeful the symptoms will subside. Sure, I am a bit grumpy about it. I didn’t realize how hard it would be on my body or my emotions, and my husband can hardly believe the mood swings and exhaustion. So far, pregnancy has been a frustrating experience because I am:

  • hungry, but have no interest in food;
  • unable to get as much done in a day;
  • disinterested in most things except for watching Netflix;
  • unfocused and forgetful;
  • utterly exhausted after doing what seems like nothing compared to pre-pregnancy;
  • uncomfortably able to fit into my clothes;
  • upset by unsolicited advice, mostly when it is from strangers;
  • uncertain and not feeling like myself;
  • temperamental; and feel like a baby in need of frequent naps, bathroom breaks, and consoling.

Every time I feel a bit frustrated by my current state I read in my What to Expect When You Are Expecting book, by Heidi E. Murkoff, about what parts of the embryo are developing and re-connect with the miracle of creating another human. At week 5 the heart and circulatory system begin to take shape and in just two weeks the embryo has developed a heartbeat, kidneys, liver, and lungs, lips, nose, eyelids, jaws, cheeks, chin, ear canals, mouth and tongue, arm and leg buds.

Photo: credit via Ed Uthman

Amazing! This humbling experience teaches me to be patient with myself and hope that my husband, family, and friends will be too.

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8 thoughts on “Nothing Could Have Prepared Me For How I Feel in the First Trimester

  1. Such an exciting time! It is really just crazy how every pregnancy is so different and I don’t think there is a “normal”. I will never forget the exhaustion. I remember driving home from work and telling myself “2 more minutes, 2 more minutes” at the end of the day your body is creating a human! So much work!! No wonder you are exhausted! Enjoy every minute!!

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  2. Well first off, congratulations! You are right, all pregnancies are different. My second was way more intense than my first. I felt so terrible the first trimester. I remember wishing I would physically get sick, as I assumed that may be a bit better than just feeling awful all of the time. It is sometimes hard to enjoy it and feel happy when you are feeling that way. Try to stay focused on the end result, or at the very least the 2nd trimester when you will hopefully feel better.

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing how you are feeling. I was wondering if you would be okay with me telling my health sciences students about these posts. I love how you described how you are feeling and also what is happening with the development of your baby. My students are grade 11 students and in about a month they will be studying the reproductive system.

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    1. I will do that, It will likely not be until near the end of November that I am in that unit, So at that time you may suddenly see lots of activity on some of your now current, then older, posts.

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